Seaside City Council member Seth Morrisey delivered these remarks at Monday's council meeting.
Today I address you with a deep concern for the future of our city and our great state of Oregon.
Over the last three months I’ve watched in horror as our entire way of life has been systematically destroyed.
It started with a small request, lock down for 15 days to slow the spread. We complied.
Then the lockdown intensified.
It started with many of our great businesses being labeled “nonessential.”
Next, they shut down our events at our beautiful newly remodeled convention center.
Next, it was restaurants and bars that were forced to close.
Next, it was schools and sporting events that could no longer operate safely and students needed to learn “virtually.”
Next, hospitals were closed and left empty in most areas while many people that needed care were left unable to get treatments, in many cases treatments that would have saved their lives.
Then, churches and other religious gatherings were deemed unsafe and forced to close.
Charities and other organizations had to cancel fundraisers causing major hardship for the most vulnerable in our community.
Next, we lost our access to our state parks, national parks, beaches, and other public spaces.
We then lost access to our trails and waterways.
In many areas fishing, clamming, and hunting was banned in order to slow the spread of course.
Now, as we sit just less than 48 hours from the forced masking of our population. I have to ask, how long will our great restaurants and bars be able to continue to operate?
If it’s too dangerous for me to walk into a building without a mask on, how long until the governor closes restaurants and bars back down?
Today, the governor tweeted, that people should “Please keep your Fourth of July celebrations small and local,” basically encouraging people not to travel. If travel is once again banned, how can a tourists based community like ours survive?
One thing that needs to be made clear, none of these problems have been caused by COVID-19. These problems have been caused by government’s response to COVID-19 and I’m concerned that the cure has now become far worse than the disease.
In the media we hear a constant drum beat that cases are spiking! Of course cases are going to rise as you increase testing and open the economy. That is a given. The number we should be watching is hospitalizations and deaths. After nearly two months of our economy being back open and tourists in town patronizing our business’s and enjoying our beautiful city we still have zero hospitalizations, zero deaths, and no community spread in our county.
So, I guess the question I will ask this council today is this.. Does the threat of COVID-19 rise to the level of destroying our entire economy, our charities, our families, and our entire way of life?
I don’t think it does.
Seth Morrisey is a member of the Seaside City Council.